BIDDEFORD — Putting up a new building or expanding an existing one will soon be a little more expensive in the City of Biddeford.

On Tuesday, the city council approved increases to construction permits and permit renewal fees.

Both of these fees are being raised to from $11 to $14 per $1,000 of value.

Other building permit fees for re-inspections, demolition and swimming pools will remain the same.

When speaking on the issue before the policy committee in April, Code Enforcement Officer Roby Fecteau said he made this recommendation after he was asked by City Manager John Bubier during budget season to look at his department to find ways to raise revenue for the city.

Fecteau said it’s hard to calculate exactly how much money will be raised through permits because it’s unknown how much new construction will take place.

However, some of the expected new revenue that should result from the fee increase is included in the revenue portion of the fiscal year 2015 budget that is being worked on by city council members in their role as the budget committee.

Fecteau said he doesn’t expect the fee increases to curtail building in Biddeford. He said even during the height of the recession, there was little impact on new construction in the city.

Fecteau said he came up with this proposal after calling other municipalities to find out what they charge for permit fees.

Both South Portland and Ogunquit charged more than Biddeford, he said.

Several years ago, he said, Biddeford’s rates were lower than several surrounding communities.

Once the city raised its rates, some of its neighbors did the same.

It’s likely that could happen again, said Fecteau.

On Tuesday, Councilor Michael Ready offered an amendment to the original proposal that was passed by the council. The purpose of the amendment, he said, was “to try to minimize the impact on people who had smaller projects.”

The amended version calls for waiving all permit fees except for the application fee, for projects valued at $5,000 or less. He said he favored keeping the $60 application fee so that people don’t apply for a permit, and then don’t follow through with a project after the codes department has utilized staff time to process the application.

The exception to the amendment is that projects started without proper permits must pay double for all permit fees, except for the application fee.

All council orders go into effect 30 days after passage, unless otherwise noted.

— Staff Writer Dina Mendros can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 324 or [email protected]



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